After numerous postponements, Arjun Suravaram has hit the screens today with decent expectations. The original version Kanithan was a hit in Tamil version. Will the Telugu remake directed by TN Santhosh enchant our Telugu audience?
Aspiring to join BBC, investigative journalist Arjun Suravaram (Nikhil) working at a small time TV channel is detained by police in fake certificate scam and loan fraudulence. He then takes up the task to unearth the culprits behind the fake certificates scam which is making the lakhs of educated youth go jobless every year. Helping him in the mission are his girlfriend (Lavanya Tripathi) and best friends Vennela Kishore, Satya. What are the hurdles they came across forms crux of the story?
At this point of time, fake certificates scam is not at all a contemporary subject and we find it hard to connect easily. Then, the narration also lacked novelty. Perhaps, it’s a delayed project so we feel the narration style stale. Humor scenes didn’t work much and romance played spoilsport slowing down the storytelling as well as deviates our attention from core plot. With the master-mind behind scam unveiled too early, the mind game needed between the protagonist and antagonist for viewer engagement went completely missing. Nonetheless, action episodes and few scenes part of investigation are intriguing.
Sam Cs scored music and only couple of songs stays with us. Background score somehow was stimulating. Visuals are slick and the film manages for a while for colorfulness, thanks to cinematographer Suryaa. Editor should have chopped off boring scenes particularly in second half. Production values are fine.
Onto performances, Nikhil did his job precisely. Looked super fit, performed a few risky stunts and had amazing screen presence. He indeed carried all the burden on alone shoulders. Lavanya Tripathi is gorgeous and got good space. But, the romantic track was pretty ordinary. Tharun Arora who played the baddie looked stylish but his character isnt established because of poor writing. Vennela Kishore and Satya failed to tickle the funny bone. Posani and Nagineedu were okay.
After a sluggish star, the film by some means picks up speed once the story is opened and we could witness a few thrills in the first half. Then second half holds us but doesn’t hold long after decent paced first half. It is occasionally predictable and in total lacked the much needed surprising elements.
First half begins on slow note to establish hero’s character and then weak romantic track. Things happen abruptly hereon, for example, love blossoms between the lead pair in no time and then she slaps him on face in front of all the staff because she feels he cheated her and when you wonder what exactly is happening, police too slap and arrest him for cheating banks with fake certificates. Interval bang promises there will be lot to enlarge in second half with mind games between l protagonist and antagonist.
Second half where the momentum needed to pick up getsbl down on sluggish pace. The investigation process hardly keeps us hooked because we have witnessed far better thrillers in recent times. Abhimanyudu is one such film which continues to thrill us till the end although the villain’s identity is disclosed so early. More importantly, what disappoints us to the core is the villain goes everywhere, when he is needed just to play an anchor role moving his pawns wisely to divert the protagonist or disrupt his plans. The abrupt ending is other setback.
On the whole, Arjun Suravaram isnt a gripping thriller, though it has some intriguing elements here and there. What could have been an intelligent crackerjack suspense entertainer ends up being a medially engaging product due to lackluster moments and sluggish screenplay in the second half. CJ goes with 2.25 stars and it needs to be seen how it performs at box office with no big competition in this week.